Aug 292012
 

Steam Greenlight will publicly launch at some point tomorrow. Greenlight is a new system that allows the Steam community to vote for the next indie games that they want to see published on the service, and if you’ve seen our Put NEStalgia On Steam .com site then you know that we need your help to put NEStalgia over the top.

Just like NEStalgia itself will be in a struggle to prove its worth on Greenlight in the coming weeks, so too will NEStalgia players with a special Valve-themed in-game event starting tomorrow. Valve is the company that created Steam and many beloved modern PC games such as Half Life and Portal, and their co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell is well known to gamers everywhere. In the world of NEStalgia, however, he’s just known as King Gabe of Steamonia.

NEStalgia’s Greenlight celebration event will challenge players with a brand new dungeon inspired by Portal, the “Tower of Trials”. I think that players will be very surprised at how cool the portal mechanic is when adapted for use in a 2D top-down RPG! Anyone who dares enter the Tower of Trials will also face many different monsters that parody those found in the Valve lexicon, culminating in a final showdown with King Gabe at the top of the tower.

As with all NEStalgia events like this, players will have the chance to get their hands on many new event-exclusive character dyes and masks. Better yet, those who defeat King Gabe can obtain a brand new companion: the Heavy Chest.

This Steam Greenlight event will start around the same time that the Greenlight service itself launches tomorrow afternoon. The event is designed for players of all levels – simply talk to the mysterious messengers found hanging out near the Inns in every town (except Ennar), and you’ll be own your way to Steamonia in no time.

*Special thanks to Gamekrazzy for the awesome King Gabe sprite!

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We were lucky enough to be allowed access to the Steam Greenlight Beta, which means that NEStalgia’s page will be up and ready to view the moment the system goes live. If you’ve enjoyed NEStalgia and would like to see it put before a much larger audience, then please take a moment of your time this week to go and show your support for the game on Greenlight. I’ll post a Facebook/Twitter announcement when the Greenlight service (and in turn this holiday event) launches tomorrow – stay tuned!

Aug 232012
 

The v1.65.3 update (notes) which went live last night comes with some significant improvements to the Marketplace listing and Vault storage systems.  Both of these systems have been upgraded to use the same “bin” format that was just recently implemented for the Companion Ranch, which makes for much easier access and organization of stored items. The separate Shared Vault has also been completely eliminated, and instead subscribers may now use their entire main vault to share items between their various characters. This new Vault can now store a maximum of a 81 items to be accessed by any character without the need for constant swapping.

As is the theme of the v1.65 series of updates, this patch includes many efficiency upgrades for both the Marketplace and Vault. The only trade-off here is that players who already have more than 5 characters with full vaults will need to do some pruning in order to bring their stored item count under the new limit. If you’re in this boat then the first thing that you should do in v1.65.3 is login to each of your characters individually in order load your previously stored items into the new Vault. Instead of being required to purchase extra bins you will be given free space to accommodate your items up to the 81 slot limit.

In other news, the Steam Greenlight service is scheduled to launch one week from today. If you somehow missed the announcement of our plans to promote NEStalgia on the service, please see the last blog entry: NEStalgia targets Steam Greenlight. Our “campaign headquarters” can be found at Put NEStalgia On Steam .com, and I even did an interview with Indie Game Mag earlier this week with more details on the whole effort. Get excited – this Steam campaign is going to be a lot of fun!

Aug 152012
 

I know that many of you read Valve’s announcement for Steam Greenlight back in July because I was bombarded with emails from players telling me that I should put NEStalgia on it. For those of you who haven’t heard, Steam Greenlight is forthcoming system that will allow Steam community members to pick the next indie games that make it onto the service. If that sounds like a perfect match for NEStalgia, that’s because it is.

Even though the system isn’t supposed to launch until the end of August, my hope is to get the player base rallied and ready to go in the coming weeks so that we can storm the gates on day one. To that end I’ve created a simple website to help promote our cause and answer and questions players may have about how NEStalgia will work on Steam. Check it out at:

Put NEStalgia On Steam .com

As you’ll read on that site, we’re not looking for a bunch of random people to upvote NEStalgia and spam our way to the top. We only want people who have actually played and enjoyed NEStalgia to take part in this campaign, so keep that in mind as you link that site to your friends. As the end of August approaches we should be trying to both recruit new players and rally our existing base. You’ll notice that along with the new Steam site, I’ve also created a new revised version of the NEStalgia trailer:

The best way to introduce NEStalgia to new players is to link them directly to main website [ http://silkgames.com/nestalgia ] and/or the game’s new trailer [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tfStO7h75Q ]. Please only post about NEStalgia on gaming message boards and other sites if you’re already an established member of that community. There is nothing more obnoxious than someone who signs up for a forum just to advertise something (and that type of post won’t help us anyway). The key here is that we should be informing potential new players about the game’s existence, not giving them a sales pitch.

There will be more to talk about in the weeks ahead. In the meantime get out there and start letting people know that at the end of August we’re going to finally get NEStalgia on Steam!

Aug 142012
 

Earlier today the v1.65 update went live. There aren’t many visible changes in this patch, but the good news is that it should take care of most of the post-companion slowdown and lag that has been plaguing the servers recently. All of v1.65’s back-end efficiency improvements should have a huge impact on server performance, but I’ll be monitoring the situation and making additional adjustments as needed.

In addition to the lag reduction in v1.65, the Companion Ranch has undergone a makeover. Companions can now be sorted into one of nine “bins” for faster access and easier organization. As part of this change, the total number of available companion storage slots has been reduced. Players who previously purchased extra slots will automatically have their gold refunded (if necessary), and will be able to access any companions that they had previously stored over the new limit by clearing out space in their ranch.

There are a few balance tweaks in today’s patch as well, most notably a change to companions in that players will no longer benefit from duplicated reserve bonuses.  That means that if a player has two monsters with the same reserve bonus, only one of those bonuses will function in battle. This change applies to both passive and ability-based reserve bonuses.

As always, please post all bug reports and balance feedback on the Silk Games forums.